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Rio boxing judges, referees removed over ‘crazy’ decisions


Boxing / AFP PHOTO / Yuri CORTEZ

Boxing / AFP PHOTO / Yuri CORTEZ

Amateur boxing’s governing body said Wednesday an undisclosed number of referees and judges had been dropped from the Rio Olympics after “less than a handful of decisions not at the level expected”.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) acted after several aggrieved boxers and their trainers accused the world body of either corruption or overseeing what one highly respected coach called some “crazy” judging decisions in Brazil.

The AIBA challenged anyone with evidence of deliberate wrongdoing to prove it or face legal action, saying in a statement that it had carried out a “thorough examination by the relevant commission”.


The so-called AIBA R&J Commission (referees and judges) had reviewed all 239 bouts to date in Rio “and determined that less than a handful of the decisions were not at the level expected”, said the statement.

“Consequently it has been decided in accordance with the AIBA R&J evaluation committee that the concerned referees and judges will no longer officiate at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In accordance with AIBA rules the result of all the bouts will stand.”

It did not say what the concerned bouts were, but a firestorm erupted on Monday when the Russian Evgeny Tishchenko was awarded the heavyweight title against the Kazakh Vassiliy Levit, but most observers and the booing crowd felt it was the wrong decision.

And then on Tuesday Ireland’s world champion Michael Conlan launched a furious, foul-mouthed tirade at judges and the AIBA when the judges said he had lost — again, the crowd jeered and many boxing experts thought Conlan had won.

The victor was again Russian.

“With regard to corruption, we would like to strongly restate that unless tangible proof is put forward, not rumours, we will continue to use any means, including legal or disciplinary actions, to protect our sport and its R&J community whose integrity is constantly put into question,” the statement said.

“The organisation will not be deterred by subjective judgments made by discontented parties.

“We welcome all parties to come forward and provide evidence in order to take appropriate and immediate action.”

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